By 11am, the cabins at Legal Bay were empty, with the bosses still not working. “The shift starts at 9:30 am,” an HR executive told me to show up around the office. Crews stared at their monitors. There are some floors below where the developers sit. Infibim has 450 employees, and Ken counts about 100-150 developers. Most of them are lounging around with their co-workers. One of them had a schedule that opened last year’s Oktoberfest on his monitor. Another woman is open to Facebook, tagging her pictures. A young man in his 20s is shopping on Amazon.
Back on the 28th floor, the maintenance department is empty. There are three large cabins with six-foot wide windows overlooking the barren expanse of Gift City. One to Mehta, one to his brother, the second to his father. Each cabin has its own waiting room. All are empty. There is nothing on shelves or desks. The drawer is empty. Normally, Mehta comes at 11:30 am, but this Monday morning, he was running late. Four hours late. “A family emergency,” his staff apologizes.
When Mehta finally arrives, there will be increased activity. Run the pans and clean the table with a rag. White shirt, blue denim, dark shoes. “Hold my calls for the next 45 minutes,” he tells his receptionist. There is no landline in his cabin. He carries two mobile phones, an iPhone and a Samsung on his person. After the Nights, Mehta stressed that he needed to change the image of Infibim. Not enough people know how Infibim works, he says. He is so excited that Ken is here to meet him. He would like to explain Infibiem’s business model, and this is understandable to some.
But those who understand do not add it.
Infibim is currently a services company.
When it was listed, it was India’s first e-commerce company. Mehta says he has a story similar to Flipkart buns. Someone who left Amazon came to India to launch a model similar to his alma mater. Despite Mehta’s argument to the contrary, it is an e-commerce company when it is listed. “We believe that we are one of the leading e-commerce companies in India focused on developing an integrated and synergistic e-commerce business model,” says DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus), which documents the company’s business activities and financials.
But in the last few years it has changed. The e-commerce company is pivotal. Infibim has now become an IT services company. It does more from Build a Bazaar or Infibeam Web Services (IWS). And the mix between IWS and e-commerce is gradually changing. In 2016, when Infibeam was listed, the company earned Rs. In FY18, Infibeam earned nearly Rs 840 crore (3 123 million). Of these, 64% are from IWS, the rest from Infibim.com.
And Mehta is correct. Very few people understand how IWS actually works. So let’s break it down. Infibim is a one-stop shop for all merchant needs, which combines many businesses into one.
One of Infibeam’s big clients is the entry-level Apparel brand Spyker. Let’s use Spiker as a representative case study. It hit the top line of about Rs 305 crore (.544.5 million) in FY17. It sells in 200 stores nationwide. Now Spyker wants to increase its sales and increase India’s internet access. It was exciting. So, it goes to Infibeam and asks you to set up a website. This is where the company steps in. Infibim sells domains called .ooo. Infibeam’s contention that .com, .in and .net are running out. And people need different domain names and this provides something extraordinary. Now, once the Spyker has settled on the domain, it will build the website, merchandise, create a checkout tool, set up a payment gateway, Synchronizes Spyker’s systems to its own warehouse and retailers offline and online. Now, these two are waiting for customers to come and shop.